My favorite series of all time is Final Fantasy and I have played every version of every game, including the weird cellphone tie-ins, but today I’m going to do the impossible. Let’s dig back through the greatest franchise ever made to count down the best of the best on my picks for the top 10 Final Fantasy games.
One of the basic rules of storytelling is to have a clear main character. This helps people connect with their struggle and understand the world better because they see the fight through one set of eyes. Final Fantasy 12 strangely manages to avoid doing this, while still somehow also weaving a deep complex plot in the land of evil is their evil empire’s wonderful airships and terrible monsters everywhere. Perhaps the element that makes this game stand out the most is the combat system. Your team can move around freely during battles or you can freeze the action and treat it like a classic turn-based RPG. You can even program your party members to attack and defend. However, you see fit it’s a very unique flowing style, but it honestly fits everything else about this game, so well.
What would you do if you were a soldier in an army and you were ordered to destroy a town full of innocent men, women, and children? Do you carry out the commands you are given or choose instead to go on the run hiding for the rest of your life, hard moral decisions like this or what life the heart of Final Fantasy 4 Cecil, the dark knight is put in a difficult spot when he must decide between the royal family who raised him, are taking up a path of life that will force him to leave behind everyone he knows. What I always enjoyed about Final Fantasy 4 is that our journey takes so many twists and turns, heroes die, villains win and old friends sometimes become deadly enemies. During the course of our experience, you truly have no idea what to expect. As you enter the next dungeon with each new area, you explore, you have to wonder who will still be alive by the time you leave.
This series is full of some really epic projects, and yet what you don’t see very often is great multiplayer crystal chronicles broke the mold by turning this fantastic universe into a cooperative adventure where we could team up with friends in real life to fight twisted beasts and earn levels. A mysterious fog has begun to cover the planet turning normal animals into hideous creatures and instantly killing those who accidentally breathe it in. It’s now our job to use the last of the power within the crystal to push back the darkness and hopefully find a Way to rid the world of this airborne poison once and for all. Nintendo really wanted this to be a completely one-of-a-kind style of multiplayer fun, so they actually invented a new method of play just for this by plugging your Gameboy into your console, each player gets their own screen for equipping weapons using potions and preparing magic for some huge chain attacks, working together with your buddies, to beat some of these tough bosses and discovering the secrets of crystal chronicles for yourself is simply amazing.
Although this game just came out not too long ago, I already love Final Fantasy 15. This entry, the franchise is so different than it nearly seems like one of the spin-offs. Our tale follows Prince Noctis and his bodyguards, four men on a road trip to visit a nearby Kingdom when suddenly their hometown is invaded, seeing no other option. They determined that the only way to reclaim the throne is to track down all the hidden tombs of past kings to unlock the power that knocked us needs to wipe out those wicked robot armies. This might sound like your regular good versus bad storyline, but it manages to feel like much more than that due to the super interesting characters. For the first time ever, this is a fully open-world Final Fantasy, we are able to go anywhere and do anything we want with our party from taking on bounties to earn cash, writing chocobos through the forest, or even something as silly as fishing noctus and his companions seemed so human. By the end of their quest together, I genuinely thought of my teammates is nothing short of brothers.
As a company Square Enix is pretty random about when they make sequels or prequels, and this one is so mind-blowing, I don’t think gamers ever saw it coming to Crisis Core takes us through the events leading up to Final Fantasy 7 having us play as a member Of Shinra Special Forces. Zack may carry a giant sword and have insane strength, but even that might not be quite enough to keep him safe in this warzone one day he’s assigned the mission of tracking down a person known as Genesis towards the beginning. This appears to be a straightforward task, a typical case of a runaway soldier, but the more we dig into things, the more we uncover the dark business that Shinra’s been up to. Within this conflict are a lot of detailed layers to every situation which at the end leaves us questioning if victory is ever possible in a war. This brutal crisis core delivers its deep message through some of the most beautifully done, cutscenes of the entire franchise. From the opening speech by Sephiroth to the dramatic ending showdown, you won’t want to pause your PSP for a second.
Titus is just a normal guy stuck in the middle of a crazy mess while competing in a match of his favorite sport, Blitz ball. A massive demon appears in the city ruthlessly slaying all the citizens and teleports Titus a thousand years in the future awakening on a beach. He soon finds out that this is a very different world than what he’s used to mankind is sworn off technology choosing to live a more simple lifestyle and fear of angering the huge demons sin once again. The tiny glimmer of hope that the land of Spira holds on to lives with a lone summoner named Yuna. If she can successfully make a pilgrimage to all the lost temples and receive the blessing of the gods, she can bring about an age of peace. Our hero Titus joins of this adventure as one of her Guardians and as you could imagine, we get our fair share of action. This was one of the last Final Fantasies that featured old-school turn-based mechanics. Fighting all feels great to the leveling system is really intricate allowing us to fully customize how each character plays all the way down to their base stats. It is a game where you can easily spend over 100 hours, getting all the strongest swords and armor, while still enjoying every random battle you get caught in.
In this project, you’ll have to master some seriously strategic gameplay if you want to make it far. Think of it as a large digital chessboard, but every piece can fit multiple roles. All the units we recruit into our army can be trained for whatever job we need them for; samurai, archers, wizards and much more. All classes we can gain access to by surviving in harsh battles, watching these soldiers marching to combat never seems to lose its charm, because each match takes so much concentration. Tactics is built around the concept that in life, every move we make matters and they wanted this to reflect not only in our fighting but also in the exceptionally well-written story, the ill-fated hero ramza was a noble son in a very rich family, but chose to cast aside as royal duties in honor of joining the army and personally keeping the people safe. In his search for Justice though, he quickly discovers that there are far more evils at work here than just simple bandits and monsters. The lurid history of this project is so deep that fans are still picking it apart and debating its true meaning today.
There are few 16-bit RPGs that have ever come close to the sheer awesomeness of FF 6. Many of the elements you think of first when it comes to Final Fantasy were originally developed here: side missions, master weapons and long dramatic conversations with bad guys all really started to come about in this one game. Just the opening scene of mechs walking over a snowy hill flawlessly sets the mood for the incredible tale that is about to unfold in this r2 steampunk land. Magic is mostly forgotten, that is until ancient beings called Esper’s begin to appear, bringing about a new age of spellcasting knowing that these freshly made magic could be a threat. The Empire makes its goal to capture and slave all the gifted people they can in an effort to ensure that the government can remain in control. The head general in charge of this task is Kefka, a sadistic clown who has been given his own magical talents with some sort of experimental technology. Our stage is now ready for the ultimate showdown, as our group of characters must face off against the overwhelmingly massive strength of the Empire and the small chance that they can claim victory and finish off Kefka’s reign of terror. It still melts my brain even now, when I think about how incredibly fun this game is, and it was all designed by a few dudes way back in 1992.
Square Enix has altered the core battle system of this series a bit with each new entry we got but no place to, I think they nailed it better than in Final Fantasy 9. At first glance, this may look like every other classic JRPG, but what makes it unique is character, combos and really difficult elemental based bosses. Our heroes all have different specialties from a lifetime of training, and by mixing up our party members, you can discover new ways to add their might together. For example, Vivi the Black Mage can throw around some vicious fire, and yet, if you really want to burn your foes, you can instead have him shoot his flames on Steiner, the knight’s sword for triple the damage if they use this combination against a rough plant enemy it will do even more damage on top of that killing. Foes with these abilities can boost your XP and level you up faster, along with helping you gain new skills from the equipment we wield. Just looking at the gameplay you could assume that this is one of the more lighthearted Final Fantasies because of the cutesy animation style when really, this is perhaps the darkest entry in the entire franchise. The plotted nine focuses on a young princess named garnet, who finds herself caught between rival factions in a heated war that threatens to literally tear the planet apart throughout our quest, we see gorgeous cities burned to ash, cold-hearted villains, flaunting their power and even those with the best intentions losing their way. Despite all the horrors we go through, the true beauty of this project is how badly it just makes you want to fight even harder.
How could I put anything, but this at the very top of the list? This project is an absolute masterpiece that changed how people saw gaming for years to come. We start off as a confused young man, leaving a train ready to blow up a power reactor for a paycheck only to learn that sometimes small actions could have major consequences. Final Fantasy 7 subtly conveys an extremely important set of how real people grow and change over time. Every character joins us on our path to saving the world from sipper. Auth also carries with them their own complex motivations, whether it be red 13 trying to cope with the possibility of being the last of a dying species or Barrett’s deep desire to protect his daughter from the harsh reality their world has become. Each facet of this adventure shows us a raw look at how people actually deal with problems. This is more than just a good plot made by dedicated writers. This is the lasting result of passionate developers who knew they had the rare talent needed to craft an utterly perfect piece of fiction. On top of all that, there’s a stellar combat system that keeps your heart racing as you pray for the next big attack against some giant foes. I almost forgot to mention that there’s even a snowboarding minigame, really, what more do I have to say than that for its legendary story? Awesome, material based fighting system and epic cutscenes, this is the best Final Fantasy game ever.
Did your favorite game not make the list get an idea for a future top 10, leave it in the comments down below?